I was poking about Google (search: groovy java) and came across this search result:

search result

(plain text of above screen shot, for the imgur impaired)

Why would one use Groovy over Java? - Stack Overflow
Apr 18, 2009 - As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format.
We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this ...

The link to the question is https://stackoverflow.com/questions/764416/why-would-one-use-groovy-over-java and, it was closed as not constructive back in the days of old. The awkward bit - that looks awful for SO and is a really poor summary for Google to see.

Is this a glitch with how SO was closing things back then and how it got indexed or is there something that's rectifiable (poking Google again with the question, forcing reindexing of closed questions, something else)?


1 Answer 1


Closed questions would better be removed from Google results at all, to avoid advertising content deemed inappropriate.

There is even similar feature request: Withdraw questions with no useful answers from Google index

As long as it's not so, I think it would be beneficial if this slip of the tongue (assuming it's unintentional) was preserved for the future as . As far as I can tell, summary like this helps to repel googlers from jumping at, voting up and trying to ask similar questions.

As time passes by and less googlers click through repelling link, it should go down in their results and eventually disappear.

As a Programmers regular, you might actually appreciate the way how it works on our questions:


Would you prefer above to change to something err more inviting? I wouldn't.

  • For the sake of completeness, I am not entirely comfortable that close reasons messages are used for a purpose that wasn't originally intended. But alternative looks even worse. "While things are not yet perfect, let's just change it to something more appealing, it will take only 6-to-8 weeks to fix." Yeah sure, as if we don't have enough broken windows in the form of link-only answers and hot questions!
  • 6
    Uh, no. We don't allow things like icanhazcodes in tags, so why would we allow similar meta content to appear in Google search summaries? Google summaries should categorize the question content; this summary only provides dubious potential value to community members, but is meaningless to casual Google searchers and people just trying to find an answer to their question.
    – user102937
    Jan 29, 2014 at 18:46
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    @RobertHarvey I wouldn't mind it to drop off from Google searches at all. But since it's there anyway, I find the meaningless message the right thing as it helps to prevent low quality content from being promoted and from piling on through broken windows. As time passes by and less googlers click through repelling link, it should go down in their results and eventually disappear
    – gnat
    Jan 29, 2014 at 18:52
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    If you really want to repel people from a post, the way to do that is to remove the post from Google, not by co-opting a device that is meant to fulfill a different purpose.
    – user102937
    Jan 29, 2014 at 18:55
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    @RobertHarvey agree that remove the post from Google would be even better
    – gnat
    Jan 29, 2014 at 18:57
  • 2
    Related to the 'remove from google': Withdraw questions with no useful answers from google index
    – user213963
    Jan 29, 2014 at 18:59